People on Complaint of Dell v. Greenberg

CourtNew York Magistrate Court
Citation174 N.Y.S.2d 803,12 Misc.2d 396
Decision Date21 May 1958
PartiesPEOPLE of the State of New York on the Complaint of Detective John DELL v. Arthur D. GREENBERG and John Slevin, Defendants. City Magistrates' Court of City of New York, Lower Manhattan District, Borough of Manhattan

Page 803

174 N.Y.S.2d 803
12 Misc.2d 396
PEOPLE of the State of New York on the Complaint of Detective John DELL
v.
Arthur D. GREENBERG and John Slevin, Defendants.
City Magistrates' Court of City of New York, Lower Manhattan
District, Borough of Manhattan.
May 21, 1958.

Page 804

John Maguire, New York City, for the people.

Benjamin Solovay, Brooklyn, for defendants.

STEPHEN S. SCOPAS, City Magistrate.

Defendants have been charged with violation of Sec. 436-1.0 of the Administrative Code entitled 'Regulations of dance halls and cabarets; licensing thereof'.

The defense has been advanced that John Slevin, one of the co-defendants herein, was only an employee; that he has no interest or part in the operation of the premises in question; and that he acted only as a doorman. His co-defendant, Arthur Greenberg, admits that he has been in charge, control and direction of the premises; and that, moreover,

Page 805

he was present thereat when the summons was served upon John Slevin. In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, the Court finds John Slevin, co-defendant herein, not guilty and discharged.

The Court is, therefore, concerned only with the innocence or guilt of Arthur Greenberg, charged with violating Sec. 436-1.0 of the Administrative Code, which reads as follows:

'1. The words 'public dance hall' shall mean any room, place or space in the city in which dancing is carried on and to which the public may gain admission, either with or without the payment of a fee.

[12 Misc.2d 397] '2. The words 'public dance or ball' shall mean any dance or ball of any nature or descrition to which the public may gain admission.

'3. The word 'cabaret' shall mean any room, place or space in the city in which any musical entertainment, singing, dancing or other similar amusement is permitted in connection with the restaurant business or the business of directly or indirectly selling to the public food or drink. * * *.

* * *

* * *

'b. Public dance halls, cabarets and catering establishments; license.--It shall be unlawful for any person to conduct, maintain or operate, or engage in the business of conducting, maintaining or operating, a public dance hall, cabaret or catering establishment unless the premises wherein the same is conducted, maintained or operated are licensed in the manner prescribed herein. * * *.

'c. Membership corporations; clubs; associations and societies.--A membership corporation, club, association or society which permits musical entertainment, singing, dancing or other form of amusement in premises wherein food or drink is directly or indirectly sold to its members, or their guests, or to the public, shall be deemed to be conducting a cabaret hereunder.'

The Police Department first became aware of the defendant's activity when the following advertisement was observed in the 'New York Post':

'Party; Friday, Saturday, Sunday, in exclusive East Side apartment; for invitation call TE 8-7884 only between 5 and 10 P.M. Friday and Saturday; 5 to 9 P.M. Sunday. Subs. guys $3.00; gals $2.00.'

Said advertisement was received in evidence and marked 'People's Exhibit 1'. Detective John Dell responded to this advertisement by calling the number in question. Upon calling said number he was advised to go to the Hotel Nassau on East 59th Street, to obtain a ticket. He paid $3 thereat to a male identified as 'Bill' and was given a ticket

Page 806

to go to the apartment located at 202 East 61st Street. Upon arriving at the apartment on the 21st day of February of this year at approximately 9 P.M., he was admitted and received by the defendant. He was then asked his name by the defendant who then proceeded to collect a ticket previously obtained from 'Bill'. He was told to make himself at home and to make the acquaintance of a girl. Music was made on a phonograph. About 35 persons were present, equally divided more or less between the sexes. Five couples were dancing; others were engaged in conversation; and still others were eating and drinking punch, hot chocolate, pretzels, cookies or candy bits.

[12 Misc.2d 398] When Detective Dell identified himself and served the defendant with a summons, the defendant admitted that he received all the moneys and that he was in charge of the premises. From the proceeds, defendant stated that all expenses were defrayed for rent, advertisements, telephone, towels and soap and legal fees.

The apartment was a railroad type apartment of three rooms consisting of a livingroom, a kitchen and a room in the rear in which there were two chairs, two couches and a phonograph and a tape recording machine. It is conceded that there was no live music or entertainment furnished and that no alcoholic beverages were served. In his defense, Arthur Greenberg testified that his main objective was to form a club for the purpose of promoting the mingling of eligible young unmarried men and women with the ultimate object of matrimony. He testified that he contemplated the forming of a regular...

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3 cases
  • People on Complaint of Hughes v. Ziegler
    • United States
    • New York Magistrate Court
    • April 10, 1961
    ...drapes, curtains and scenery. Hence, no circumvention by ruse or subterfuge exists here as was emphasized in People v. Greenberg, 12 Misc.2d 396, 174 N.Y.S.2d 803, 809. In People v. Feldman, 178 Misc. 322, 34 N.Y.S.2d 182 the Court emphasized that since the license applies to the premises, ......
  • Carroll v. Hastings
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • December 9, 1977
    ...or drink." The important public interests which lie behind the cabaret licensing requirements are described in People v. Greenberg, 12 Misc.2d 396, 174 N.Y.S.2d 803 (reviewing the history of the law). It is thus readily understandable why failure to comply with the cabaret licensing or......
  • People v. Rickoff
    • United States
    • New York Magistrate Court
    • April 21, 1961
    ...the entertainment period. More to the point are cases such as People v. Feldman, 178 Misc. 322, 34 N.Y.S.2d 182, and People Greenberg, 12 Misc.2d 396, 174 N.Y.S.2d The fact that the transgression here was innocuous, or perhaps socially desirable, is not an appropriate consideration. The New......

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